Welcome to “Dad’s Man Cave,” a new series from Reno Moms Blog. Look for these posts on the second Friday of every month, sharing parenting perspectives, humor and advice from dads we know and love. Our first post in the series is from Stephan Ross, husband to Reno Moms Blog Contributor Fayth Ross.
After 14 years and three ginger-haired kids, I can say with absolute certainty that my marriage kicks butt. It stands upon three pillars: love, friendship, and teamwork. We work daily on the first two and have learned over time how to form a strong team. But lately, I’ve felt that I’m not pulling my weight, that I should be doing more. Doing something meaningful, manly and heroic, like donning my shining armor and taking a swing at the nearest dragon.
The problem is that my wife has become a Supermom and she’s slain all the dragons. There are no monsters left to fight, no lions to be tamed. Somewhere between managing a demanding professional career, wrangling three headstrong kids, and keeping me pointed in the right direction despite my misguided but well-meaning intentions, Supermom has cleaned house. Everything runs like clockwork. What’s a poor knight to do?
Even the little things I used to take pride in are no match for Supermom. If she can’t open the cap on a plastic soda bottle, she just saws the top off with a kitchen knife and leaves it in the fridge to go flat. Can of beans won’t open? Out comes my power drill and framing hammer. She’s created a pulley system from my nylon ropes and baby blankets to rearrange household furniture. I still have no idea how she moved our TV and stand, as they each outweigh her. I suspect voodoo! And if she needs that special dish that’s far out of reach in the top cupboard, she’ll put a stepstool on top of a rickety kitchen chair and Parkour her way on up. Probably parachutes from the top while singing the Star Spangled Banner in perfect key. I am obsolete. Even my height isn’t useful.
All kidding aside, as a husband and father, I need dragons. I crave peril to face, manly challenges that I alone can overcome. I need to be useful, to be needed for something other than what Supermom can do. Yes, I am happy to change diapers, go grocery shopping, do dishes, bathe the kids in one giant soupy, soapy Sponge Bob bubble bath, brush teeth in an assembly line, and all of the other mundane necessities that married life with kids requires. But it still bothers me that my wife is a modern day Annie Oakley. Anything I can do, she can do better.
I’m proud to say I handled the situation like any mature spouse would. I pouted for a week and refused to discuss my feelings until I’d made her crazy. Finally she stopped me in my tracks and said, “What’s wrong?”
“I suck at being a husband and a father. You do everything.” Sniff.
“I do not do everything. We’re just really busy and there’s a lot to do. So I get it done.”
“Yeah, I know. But once in a while I’d like to be a hero, for you and for the kids.”
“You are my hero. I guess I just need to give you a chance to show it. Speaking of which, each of the kids’ rooms could use a ceiling fan. And I’d like programmable digital thermostats put in.”
As a man, it’s not an easy thing to admit that much of your self-worth stems from what you alone can do for your family. So, to all you Supermoms, please save a few dragons for us poor old knights: we need it.